Monday, March 9, 2020

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ LEARNING TO BEND by Michelle Davis


Learning to Bend
by: Michelle Davis
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: February 10, 2020
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Jenna Moore's flawlessly orchestrated life and engagement to Ben Kelly, “the perfect man,” vanish when she discovers a controlling side of her fiancĂ©. Confused and unsure of who she is without Ben, Jenna decides to uproot from her safe, predictable life in Boston and move to Bend, Oregon, hoping to find her answers there. It’s when she meets Jackson, a former Navy SEAL who battles demons of his own, that Jenna finds the courage to let go of being perfect and embrace uncomfortable risks, transforming her life through forgiveness, compassion, surrender and acceptance. Yet the rewards from discovering her true self exceed Jenna’s expectations – not only does she find the greatest love of her life, but she also understands what’s kept her from learning to bend.

Thank you Michelle, for providing the blog with these interview questions and answers.

Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?
When I was four, I wanted to be “Bat Girl” because I loved the television show, Batman, and I wanted to catch “the bad guys.” But I’m guessing that’s not the answer you’re looking for.

During high school I would have loved to have been the popular girl – you know the tall, thin girl with perfect long blonde hair that everyone loves. Instead I was the average looking girl who worked hard and got straight A’s. I was nice and had good friends, but I always felt as if something about me was missing. Perhaps what was “missing” was me being authentic to who I truly was… I was kind of nerdy (I think I still am today). No doubt I was uncomfortable in my own skin and thought I had to be someone who I wasn’t. But now that I’ve “grown into myself,” I’ve come to realize how often our perceptions of others can cause us to feel “less than.” It’s too easy to judge another’s strengths and weaknesses then draw imaginary parallels as to how we compare. This is an incredibly unhealthy practice, yet my guess is that we all do it from time to time. So now, I’m incredibly happy to be me, as I try to accept all parts of who I am – the good, the bad, and the in between. That’s one of the blessings of aging – we begin to let go, trust, and allow as we become closer to unconditionally loving ourselves and others.

What did you do on your last birthday?
I spent my first day as a fifty-five-year old doing yoga, working out at the gym, having a relaxing massage, and then enjoying a quiet dinner with my husband. It was a perfect day!

What part of the writing process do you dread?
I find editing the most challenging part of publishing a book. I absolutely love the creative aspect of writing – inventing the characters, devising the plot, and pondering various scenarios. And it’s so much fun working on the first several drafts. However, when the manuscript is close to final form and it’s time to get out the red pen, well, that is when the real work begins. And the final proofing… yikes, that is exhausting.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes, I have hit a wall when writing. Sometimes all that I need is to get away, so I go for a run, take a walk with the dogs, or just go about my day, hoping that at some point inspiration will hit. This usually does the trick. However, separating myself from my work is not always the answer to writer’s block. Two years ago, I had written most of the first draft of a book, but I just couldn’t finish it. I was not able to make the ending come together in a believable fashion. For me, this was writer’s block at it’s worse. So, I shelved the manuscript for two years. Last week, as soon as I received the first printed copies of Learning to Bend, I pulled up the file that I’d stored, untouched, on my laptop and began reworking the plot. Actually, I’m very excited about this project, and while I haven’t quite figured out the ending, I feel more confident that this time, I’ll figure it out.

Tell us about your latest release.
Learning to Bend is the story about Jenna Moore and her search to fine who she truly is, not how others see her. It begins with her questioning her flawlessly orchestrated life and engagement to Ben Kelly, “the perfect man.” But all of this vanishes when she discovers a controlling side of her fiancĂ©. Confused and unsure of who she is without Ben, Jenna decides to uproot from her safe, predictable life in Boston and move to Bend, Oregon, hoping to find her answers there. It’s when she meets Jackson, a former Navy SEAL who battles demons of his own, that Jenna finds the courage to let go of being perfect and embrace uncomfortable risks, transforming her life through forgiveness, compassion, surrender and acceptance. Yet the rewards from discovering her true self exceed Jenna’s expectations – not only does she find the greatest love of her life, but she also understands what’s kept her from learning to bend.

I’m drawn to a solitary man with shoulder length thick brown hair sitting alone at a café table. I try not to stare, but I can’t help myself. When I get closer, I see a faint scar on his cheek. It intrigues me. He intrigues me. Yet it’s his captivating green eyes that truly catch my attention. I look in the opposite direction and make it appear as if I’m about to walk away. But I can’t, he pulls me toward him. I pause, actually freeze in my tracks before I find my body shifting in his direction. He’s drinking coffee and gazing at me. Who is he and why am I feeling this way? Doing my best to regain some composure, I try to avert my eyes, but they won’t stop staring at him. What is it? He’s not traditionally handsome – he’s more of a sensual “bad boy” type – nothing like Ben. Suddenly, I feel my throat tighten and butterflies appear inside my stomach. I become conscious about my hair. I’ve had a helmet on all day. It must look awful.

Stop it. He’s just some stranger.

Although he’s sitting, I quickly assess his height and notice his chiseled muscular build. I’m guessing that he’s older than me, by at least five or more years. Something deep inside of me begins to stir as I pass by his table. That’s when I hear, “Place the weight on your inside toe when you turn. You’re using your knees too much.”

Purchase Learning to Bend from:


Michelle Davis, whose career path includes banking, teaching, and college admissions consulting, holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s University. Through her blog, elevate, Michelle’s goal is to inspire others to shift their perspectives and welcome change as they realize their life purpose. A Pennsylvania native, Michelle and her husband enjoy visiting their sons in Boston and spending time in Bend, Oregon, the settings of her debut novel, Learning to Bend. Learn more about Michelle and how to elevate your life.

Places to find Michelle Davis:

You can follow the Learning to Bend Blog Tour here.

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37 comments:

  1. I like the cover, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you:) I will share that with the woman who created it!

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  2. Thank you for hosting! This is my first virtual book tour, and I am so excited to get started!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your author interview and book details, this sounds like a wonderful read

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  4. This sounds really good. I cannot wait to read and follow her on this journey...and to see if she finds him.

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  5. This is a great interview, definitely look forward to this book.

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  6. Sounds good. Thanks for sharing. The cover is interesting too.

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  7. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. :)

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  8. Great cover. I can't wait to read it.

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  9. Thank you for hosting me. So appreciate the support!

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  10. I love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  11. This sounds really good. Enjoyed the interview.

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  12. I really enjoyed the excerpt and love the cover.

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  13. This sounds so good Thanks for sharing!

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  14. This sounds so good Thanks for sharing!

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  15. How did you come to learn a lot about the Navy Seals?

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  16. I like the cover. It shows a little about the character.

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  17. Story sounds really good! Love the unique cover!

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  18. The cover art is pretty and this story sounds like a delightful read. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes to the author on the new release.

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  19. I like the cover really great and the book sounds like a good read too.

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  20. This looks like a great book I could curl up with.

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  21. I like the cover really cool love to read the book too

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